Panasonic Viera TC-P65VT50 3D Smart Plasma HDTV Review$3,699.00
There are three major areas we test when reviewing a TV. The first, and most important, is core performance. The P65VT50 is an excellent core performer. It has highly accurate color, a large contrast ratio, smooth motion, and a wide viewing angle. It's got everything you'd want in a plasma, no matter the price or extraneous features. On top of that, it tested with well above average audio, and 3D that--while not being as convincing as LG's or Samsung's--does not detract from the TV's overall performance.
The second area is user interfacing. Things like menus, innovative remotes, and smart platforms. While Panasonic's smart platform is organized in a clunky, heavy-handed fashion, their cloud-based processing is finally coming into its own. The P65VT50 showed us a much quicker interface and much shorter load times. Its system menus are easy to use and easy to read, and the new Touch Pad remote brings with it the same ease of use as a wireless mouse, making web browsing much more pleasant--at least, where TV browsers are concerned.
The final area we inspect is the TV's design, both inside and out. This refers to its aesthetic appearance outside, and to the placement of ports, inputs, and on-set controls. There's no arguing that the Panasonic TC-P65VT50 is a visually appealing TV. Even if you don't like the gradient stand, its "glass and metal" design centric gives it a classy air, despite being so large. It's got decent port selection, and its overall design could only be improved if Panasonic could find a way to let it swivel without compromising the sturdiness of the stand.
All in all, the Panasonic TC-P65VT50 is an expensive television; an MSRP of $3699 is nothing to sneeze at. Yet its only drawbacks are sub-standard 3D (the standard having been set higher by LG) and Panasonic's Viera Connect platform, which could use some spring cleaning. Where performance is concerned, its only real competitor is Samsung's excellent ES8000 flagship series. The 55-inch ES8000 carries an MSRP of $3799, whereas the 65-inch VT50's MSRP is $3699: thus, discerning between these two falls along the lines of affordability, desired screen size, and personal preference between LCD or Plasma.
We feel with such impressive test results and smart design parameters, the P65VT50 is worth getting excited about, and might be the most valuable buy of early 2012.